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NHL Is Accepting Applications for Prospective Expansion Teams

June 27, 1996|From Associated Press

NEW YORK — The NHL is accepting applications for expansion franchises, even though the league is not sure if it plans to expand for the fourth time this decade.

Commissioner Gary Bettman, in a statement after the league's board of governors meeting, said Wednesday no timetable for expansion has been approved. The league currently has 26 teams, having added five in the last five years.

Bettman said the league has received considerable interest from prospective owners.

"It is clear that there is significant and growing interest in the NHL," Bettman said.

The five recent additions to the NHL are: San Jose in 1991, Ottawa and Tampa Bay in 1992 and Anaheim and Florida in 1993.

The Colorado Avalanche won the Stanley Cup in its first season after leaving Quebec, and the former Winnipeg team will be playing in Phoenix next season.

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